I lean forward on my seat and grip the wheel tightly. I can smell the rich leather of the upholstery mingled with the smell of rubber getting ground into the road. I push down on the accelerator for all I am worth. Then I hear that magic word – Go! I shift gears and shoot off, like a bullet from a gun. The trees and kiosks that line up neatly on either side of the road rush into oblivion.
My sweet baby – a 2010 Chevy Cobalt SS, black as midnight, sings to me. We've been through this before. There is nothing else between us. Just I and she and us reaching the finish line before everyone else. I press on, glancing occasionally at the built in navigation system to keep track of my competition. Rickor and Maaj are hot on my trail. But the road ahead is straight and smooth.
The timing could not have been more perfect. I press a button that shoots a dry shot of nitrous into my baby and she soars. That wonderful feeling builds in the pit of my stomach as I take air at an unexpected bump in the road. The adrenaline spikes my blood and I feel light-headed. This is life. A mile a minute.
I know there is a sharp left corner that has always been a thorn in my side. I shift gears and press lightly on the break. Not too much though, I tell myself, you don’t want to lose your lead. The view changes from trees to a wide open ocean. The sea air whips through my hair, peppering the air with the smell of sea salt and gasoline.
I've seen this view a hundred times, but it never fails to take my breath away. I turn left and glance at the system. No-one behind me. Hah, I grin. I treat my baby to another shot of nitrous and we purrs with pleasure. “We’re gonna win this baby,” I yell. And then disaster strikes.
A turning I had never paid attention to before becomes my Achilles’ heel. I hit the brakes but too late. I fishtail out, colliding headfirst with an oncoming taxi. The taxi careens out onto the road and hits a lamp-post. My baby stops singing.
I see Maaj shoot right past me. If his windows were rolled down, I’d have to bear a smirk of pure joy. He flies ahead and crosses the finish line. My navigation system beeps telling me game over. Guess level 12 will have to wait for another day. My need for speed is still not curbed.